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Leadership team takes the helm at ATI's FlyZero
Thursday, 7 January 2021
Twelve months of research lie ahead for the Aerospace Technology Institute's team investigating the design challenges, manufacturing demands and market potential of zero-emission aircraft concepts.

The Aerospace Technology Institute has made a number of senior appointments to the FlyZero leadership team, marking a significant milestone in the inception of the project.

Chris Gear, Project Director, FlyZero says: “These outstanding appointments reflect the strength and depth of the team we're building to shape the future of aviation. Our mission to help make zero-carbon emission commercial flight a reality will bring together some the best talent available to share ideas and revolutionise global aviation with the intention of gearing up the UK to stand at the forefront of sustainable flight in design, manufacture, technology and skills.”

Dr Katy Milne joins as Head of Industrial Strategy, Mark Howard as Head of Commercial Strategy, Naresh Kumar as Head of Sustainability, Steve Newbury as Academic Coordinator, Chris Hughes as Head of Project Management, Simon Webb as Chief Engineer – Propulsion, Tim Galsworthy as Chief Engineer – Airframe, Mark Whillier as Chief Engineer - Airframe and David Debney as Chief Engineer – Whole Aircraft Integration.

Backed by the UK Government, FlyZero is a one-of-a-kind research project aiming to revolutionise the future of commercial air travel by making zero carbon aviation possible by the end of the decade. The new leadership appointees will head a team of around 100 experts on an initial 12 month strategic research project investigating the design challenges, manufacturing demands and market opportunity of potential zero-emission aircraft concepts.

Dr Katy Milne brings 15 years' experience in manufacturing research and supply chain engagement from her time at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (a part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult), Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace and Imperial College. Most recently, she was Chief Engineer for DRAMA - a £14m programme led by the National Centre For Additive Manufacturing. As Head of Industrial Strategy Katy will identify further capability needs in the UK supply chain working with government and industry partners to develop the roadmap and the technologies required in future.

Mark Howard joins as Head of Commercial Strategy bringing 35 years' aerospace industry experience including from Engineering and Commercial roles with Airbus most recently as Head of Business Development and Partnerships. Mark will take on responsibility for all market, commercial and economic recommendations within the project.

Naresh Kumar is a Visiting Professor in Aeronautics and Automotive at Loughborough University having spent 10 years with Rolls-Royce as Chief of Environmental Technology which followed earlier roles in Process, Quality and Business Improvement. As Head of Sustainability Naresh will lead the development of sustainability and environmental requirements ensuring that sustainability is at the heart of the solutions identified by the project.

Steve Newbury brings a wealth of experience in innovation, design and manufacture and inspires the next generation of engineers as a Visiting Professor in Future Business & Materials at the University of Oxford. Joining as Academic Coordinator Steve will act as the focal point for collaboration and coordination between the FlyZero project and UK academic institutions.

Chris Hughes joins with 24 years' experience in the aerospace industry including as Head of Engineering for the Airbus A350 Wing and Wing of Tomorrow programmes at Spirit Aerosystems UK more recently becoming Head of Advanced Product Development. In his role as Head of Project Management, Chris will lead the delivery of the FlyZero project ensuring the project remains true to brief and governance.

Simon Webb, Chief Engineer – Propulsion, has a background in leading the development, design and manufacture of aerospace engines including leading the engineering teams on the cold end of the world's most efficient large aero-engine, the Trent XWB and more recently the Rolls-Royce Titanium-Composite Fan System development activity.

Tim Galsworthy, Chief Engineer – Airframe, brings 42 years' experience in aircraft design and manufacture at Airbus specialising in wings including as Wing Chief Designer on A400M and leading the A350 Wing Technology Development Program prior to roles as the A350 Wing Airframe Architect and Head of Wing Engineering A350-900. More recently Tim moved into research development as the wing architect for the Wing of Tomorrow programme.

Mark Whillier, Chief Engineer – Airframe has over 40 years' Aerostructures experience in Chief Engineering and design at GKN Aerospace Services most recently as Product Group Director for a range of products including Fuselage and Landing Gear.

David Debney becomes Chief Engineer – Whole Aircraft Integration having joined the ATI as Head of Technology for Whole Aircraft in January 2019. Previous roles include Chief of Future Aircraft Concepts at Rolls-Royce, where he was responsible for developing concept designs for hybrid propulsion systems on aircraft of all sizes.

Together, the Chief Engineers will lead on all technical aspects of the FlyZero project to drive robust and objective conclusions to the critical technical questions ensuring outputs align with both market and sustainability requirements.

Gary Elliot, Chief Executive Officer, Aerospace Technology Institute says: “Since announcing the FlyZero project in July 2020 we've been working hard to build the team and today's announcement shows this idea is quickly becoming a reality. Together with the government's visionary Jet Zero Council, our industry is addressing the pressing issues of the moment putting aerospace on the path to zero-carbon emission flight.”

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